After a very enjoyable and gastronomically successful stay in Malaysia, we travelled south to the…
IFBC 2017 – My First Foodie Conference in Sacramento, California. Getting a look at the world that I have known but not met until now.
What started out as a hobby 8 years ago became a very real and fulfilling profession. Somewhere along the way, I started to identify myself as a food writer and recipe developer. For a long time I had not thought of attending an event for food bloggers. This year as I felt that it was time to explore IFBC 2017 and meet other people who are active in this industry.
IFBC 2017 in Sacramento
Once I made up my mind to go, I persuaded Ro-Ri San to come with me and represent Malaysian Chinese Kitchen. We reserved the hotel room and flights more than 9 months in advance and that worked out really well.
We flew into Sacramento on a Thursday evening so that we can get up bright and early the next morning for the start of the conference. The hotel was only a block away from the conference venue. Many bloggers stayed there and we ran into a few familiar faces at breakfast. It was a great way to start the morning.
Sacramento weather was fine and after a crisp walk to the Convention Center, we were ready to get down to business. We were greeted with San Francisco Bay Coffee outside the meeting rooms.
Official Conference Opening
The Conference opened with a Keynote Address followed by a session on how to manage your blog more effectively. The morning went by quickly and before we knew it, it was time for lunch.
Picnic Lunch at the State Capitol Park
It was a beautiful afternoon to enjoy lunch at the park provided by Nugget Markets accompanied by good conversations with fellow attendees. There was even sufficient time to take a short stroll at the park before heading back to the Conference.
Discovery and Breakout Sessions
There were several Discovery and Breakout Sessions during the two day conference. My favorite was the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, the Original. In this session we got to taste different kinds of balsamic vinegar with cheeses. I learned things I never knew about balsamic vinegar and it was a lot of fun.
Taste of Sacramento Expo
The other fun event was the Taste of Sacramento Expo. There were a good variety of sponsors participating and so much to taste and see. We were also given a tote each to bring home samples of food represented there.
One that stood out was Puur Chocolat with their shiny domes of truffles infused with exotic flavors. There were hard to resist and people kept going back to taste different ones at the table.
Live Food & Drink Blogging
The Conference closed with a Live Food & Drink Blogging where each sponsor was given only 5 minutes to present their product. It was fast and furious. We were taking pictures and posting them live to Instagram or Facebook. Here are some of the sponsors who came to our table.
Restaurants in Sacramento
Sacramento has a vibrant food scene. There were many interesting restaurants near the hotel where we stayed. Just a few doors away was Petra Greek. It wasn’t a fancy place but we really enjoyed the food and ate there twice. The Petra Special which came with one chicken souvlaki, one pork souvlaki, and one beefteki served with rice pilaf was very delicious.
A Pizza Feast
On one of the evenings we accepted an invitation to Pizza Rock together with a group of bloggers to kick off National Pizza Month. Dinner consisted of four cocktails, one starter, and eight pizzas. Yes, 8 huge pizzas, the most I have ever eaten in one sitting! We were all stuffed!
Executive Chef, Laura Meyer, traveled from San Francisco to give a brief explanation of each dish featured that evening. Sausage and Stout Pizza with a honey malted dough is their house specialty but my personal favorite was the Detroit Red Top. The Romana – a 3 part pizza (appetizer, main, and dessert) was quite delicious too.
Both Ro-Ri San and I had a good time in Sacramento. We also learned a lot from the IFBC 2017 Conference and planned on attending next year in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Disclosure: This is one of three blog posts I am writing in exchange for a discounted rate to attend IFBC 2017. Dinner at Petra was at our own expense. Dinner at Pizza Rock was provided by the restaurant. Apart from the free meal, no other compensation was given. All opinions are my own. For full disclaimer, please click here.